By Machela Osagboro
“Shape up or ship out” were the words of Prime Minister Gaston Browne as he responded to accusations that the Minister of Agriculture, Dean Jonas, had not met the agriculture goals since his appointment one and half year ago.
The prime minister used the opportunity on local radio to warn Jonas that, “he has to step up”.
“I am putting him under public notice that he either shape up or ship out!” he added.
Browne made these statements this past Saturday and said, “I had a real stern discussion with the agricultural Minister yesterday and I told him, you have to step up now. He has said to me that there would have been improvements. I am not necessarily doubting him. But I don’t believe that the objectives that we have set to increase agriculture significantly that those objectives have been met fully.”
Browne responded to comments made by United Progressive Party (UPP) leader, Harold Lovell, that the agricultural sector is under-performing and admitted that, “I accept that we have not made enough progress.”
However, Prime Minister Browne made sure to the impetus on Jonas to bring about the results that the government wants from the agricultural sector.
The comments come in light of the fact that Minister Jonas had some very scathing remarks to make about the 35 field and in-office workers attached to the Ministry of Agriculture’s Extension Division, who staged a sit-in at the ministry’s headquarters because they had some unanswered grievances. Jonas had commented that the entire ministry was unproductive.